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Anuva, Helix Partner on Genomics of Underrepresented Populations

NEW YORK – Translational research company Anuva said that it entered a global partnership with Helix to create the largest multi-population Asian genomic dataset to help advance drug development and discovery, leading to more broadly applicable treatments.

The India and UK-based company, formerly known as the Global Gene Corp, wants to leverage Helix's expertise in sequencing technology and translational research to create the "world's most diverse genomic bio/data bank," according to the company's website.

Researchers have been calling for greater genetic diversity in biological research, from the cell lines used to screen drug candidates to participants in clinical trials.

In the current partnership, the financial details of which were not disclosed, Anuva plans to combine its Genomic Bio/Data Bank with Helix's Exome+ assay to obtain higher coverage on clinically relevant genes and a whole-genome backbone, including a full mitochondrial genome, enabling tens of millions of imputed variants.

"Anuva is doing great work to close the critical data diversity gap in genomics for drug discovery," Daniel Lee, senior VP of life sciences and growth at Helix, said in a statement. "We’re thrilled to be able to provide Anuva access to our whole-exome assay as they enter their next stage of growth."

San Diego-based Helix engages in multiple population genomics projects. The company recently partnered with the Memorial Hermann Health System, for instance, and published its own population genomics method for assessing cardiomyopathy risk.

Anuva recently completed a Series A investment round, although a spokesperson for the firm declined to share details at this time.

The company has a laboratory and technology center in Mumbai, India, and space at the BioData Innovation Centre of the Wellcome Genome Campus, a biotech incubator in Cambridge, UK.